What do I love about journal writing? Everything! I love to write, I like the tactile experience of touching pen to paper, I like having a place to noodle my creative ideas, record my personal journey and check in with my inner self. Christina Baldwin, author of “One to One, Self Understanding through Journal Writing,” defines a journal as “a book of dated entries.” She also states, “The journal is a tool for recording the process of our lives.” For me, journaling is a means of connecting with myself, my inner wisdom, my dreams, my visions. Writing in my journal gives me a space, a place to record where I’ve been, where I am and where I want to go. The journal is a tool for observing how I’ve grown and where I want to stretch myself. Baldwin has this to say about the writing process, “There is something about writing it down that is different from talking it out, and it’s not just that writing leaves a residue of little black lines on paper. We write things down for safekeeping, to remember them, to honor them. It’s a way we take care of our thoughts.”

When I think about what excites me about writing, here’s what I came up with.

  • It’s relaxing. It’s a great way to relieve stress and tension.
  • It’s cathartic and healing. When I write my thoughts down, they no longer have power over me and they’re not racing around in my head anymore.
  • It’s creative. Writing can be a creative outlet for me. It’s a tool for creating content for my retreats and classes, writing poetry, blog posts and so much more.
  • It’s a way for me to connect with my love of words and language.
  • It’s restorative. It’s an activity I do by myself in my favorite cozy, comfortable places. I look busy and people don’t interrupt me when I’m writing at a coffee shop or the library.

What about you? Are you a journal writer?  If not, is journal writing something you might want to explore? What are the benefits of journal writing? How can journal writing be a creative tool? If you answered Yes to any of the questions, my September 22 retreat, THE JOURNEY TO SELF DISCOVERY THROUGH JOURNAL WRITING is designed for you. Please visit my Events page for details.

The Joy of Journal Writing
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17 thoughts on “The Joy of Journal Writing

  • March 10, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Hi Nancy,

    I love journaling. I have little time to write and these days that time is either spent on my book or on my blog, but there is something precious about journaling that is uniquely separate from the other two. For months, I gave up blogging and just did journaling. I wrote every day. That was a good practice, but some other things had to slip off the table for that to happen. Life is about balance and sometimes it gets a bit out of whack!

  • March 10, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Thanks for your comments Amy! I would love to hear more about what you love about journaling. I didn’t know you were writing a book. Can you share what it’s about or how the process is going for you? Best of luck with it!

  • March 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I don’t write a daily journal anymore, Nancy, though I do see the value in it. One thing I do is write a confessional blog post every Friday – it chronicles my journey, my thoughts and my heart regarding topics I think we all share since we’re living in the “human condition.” I’ve also find my artwork has a historical value for recording my life in a visual way. While not every painting or blog post is about me, it’s about how I see myself and others in our world. I love your points of value about journaling. Thank you!

    • March 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks for your comments Michelle! I don’t journal daily because I write my Morning Pages each day. When I do journal though, I find great value in the practice especially when I am doing a solo retreat.

  • March 13, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Journal writing is such a great way to release stress. As someone who loves to write, I find that my words soon start to form as books rather than journals. Sometimes they get written for years, other times deleted as a form of letting go.

  • March 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I was reminded recently about how much it meant to my daughter that I journaled during my pregnancy how much I loved her and what I was going through. Now she is pregnant with her first child and wants to continue the journal for her son. I just love that. Its such a wonderful way to capture the past for the future. I wish my great grand parents had journaled. I’d love to read who they were a hundred years ago. Thank you Nancy, for asking.

  • March 14, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I keep several types of journals; gratitude journals, morning pages, and other types. I realized as I was reading your post that my ‘regular journaling’ has taken to the ‘back burner’ for about a year now! I really enjoyed that special kind of journaling and reflection.

    Thanks for the nice reminder for me to add that back in once in awhile.

  • March 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I grinned when I read “I look busy and people don’t interrupt me when I’m writing at a coffee shop or the library. ” I’d not thought about journalling there. Very clever and why not?
    Your five points are stellar and I have to say they inspire me to take up journalling. I don’t do it. Not sure why not – thoughts are constantly flooding my mind – especially on morning dog walks. Maybe I should come home and scribble down my thoughts. Thank you for the nudge to do so.

  • March 15, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for your comments Kama. Totally agree that journal writing is a great way to release stress.

  • March 15, 2016 at 8:53 am

    What a lovely idea Kimberly to journal during pregnancy. How sweet that your daughter is continuing the tradition. I agree about the great grandparents and grandparents. Wouldn’t it be great to read their journals and get a glimpse into what life was like in those days? Thanks for your comments!

  • March 15, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for your comments Elda. It’s always fun to hear from you. Glad to hear you’re still writing your Morning Pages:)

  • March 15, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Hi Kelly, thanks for your comments. I hope you give journal writing a try, it’s a great practice. Treat yourself to a special new journal and some colored pens, light a candle, settle into a comfy spot and give it a whirl. I know you’ll be inspired and maybe surprised by what comes up for you:)

  • March 15, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for a heartfelt and interesting post, Nancy, Quite frankly, I’m concerned if I added journaling to my daily writing activities (my primary income source) I might not enjoy the writing I do quite so much (there is that overload thing). I’ve done it on and off – find it most useful when life is challenging – but not lately. As I clear of a few client projects off the list, I’ll consider going back to it as you make good points.

  • March 15, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    I find I am more comfortable expressing myself in relation to what I’m reviewing than probing my day to day life.

  • March 17, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for your comments Nanette. There is always that fine line of doing what we love and enjoy and taking on one more thing that sends us into overload. It sounds like you know yourself well and are able to set good boundaries for yourself. Good for you!

  • March 21, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I’m a multiple journal keeper and can’t imagine life without daily journaling, whether it be visual or written or some permutation between. I agree with all your reasons for journaling and would add another – I find journaling immensely helpful when I’m noodling a problem or trying to figure something out.

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